“The Eagles” blew into town on their “Long Road Out of Eden” 2009 World Tour on Wednesday, March 17, 2009, and, clad like adults in suits and ties, Glenn Frey pronounced the sold-out performance to be “the Eagles assisted living tour” and called the group “the band that wouldn’t die.”
Band members Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit—who, with his long hair, looked a bit like the Crypt-keeper, —performed at what used to be known as the Mark of the Quad Cities, but is now officially the I-wireless Center. They appeared onstage with a proscenium arch behind them that had green lights flashing, which seemed appropriate for this day after St. Patrick’s Day concert. The stage was able to have film projected on the backdrop, which was used to good effect during the concert, and there were 2 large screens set up to the left and right of the main stage.
At any given moment, in addition to the 4 “name” performers in the band, there were 9 people onstage. Four guitars, 2 percussion stations, 2 keyboard stations, 3 saxophones and 1 trumpet were used in various combination(s) throughout the evening’s performance.
The band initially performed some new stuff in tight harmony, accapella, from their newest album (“Long Road Out of Eden”) and then segued into “Witchy Woman,” with Glenn Frey, who acted as announcer most of the night saying that the song was from “our favorite Satanic country period.” With lyrics like “a peaceful easy feeling” and “every form of refuge has its price” filling the hall, the crowd loved lyrics/songs like “After the boys of summer have gone,” or “You can’t hide those lyin’ eyes.”
After a brief intermission that lasted no more than 15 minutes, the quartet sat on stools and sang close harmony on “No more walks in the woods” and “I’ve been waiting in the reeds.” Frey announced that they were going to sing what he said his wives referred to as “the credit card song,” an introduction to “Take It to the Limit.”
The famous quartet was ably assisted by musicians like Stewart Smith, their newest member; Richard Blade Davis from New Orleans on keyboards; Greg Smith from San Louis Obispo; Bill Armstrong on trumpet, from Amarillo, Texas; Christian Mostaad on sax, from the Netherlands; Al Garth from Santa Rosa; Scott Krago on drums, who has been with the band since 1994; and Michael Thompson from San Diego on keyboards. Glenn Frey, himself, is from Royal Oak, Michigan (where, he said, “mother” is one-half of a word), while Don Henley, the other leader of the band, is from Texas. Joe Walsh is a New Jersey native.
While playing their song “Dirty Laundry” a very effective montage of various covers of magazines like “People” and “Us” formed the backdrop and, towards the end, fake covers showed Don Henley on the cover of “Time” magazine, with the title: “Don Henley solves Global Warming” and Glenn Frey on a fake cover of “Sports Illustrated” bearing the words, “Glenn Frey Wins Masters.” Joe Walsh’s was a little less topical: “Monkey Sues Joe Walsh.” At times, the light-show feeling of the backdrop reminded me of the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” or light shows I have attended that featured Pink Floyd and/or the Dave Matthews Band.
The show went on for 3 hours and the only “bad” thing about it were the 2 women next to me who had come to the show on a bus and either (a) talked very loudly on their cell phones throughout the concert or (b) sang along so loudly that we couldn’t hear the band members’ voices whom we had come to hear at $168 a pop. When they began to drunkenly boogie (after knocking my own drink to the ground while stumbling in and out of the row for the 9th or 10th time), it was apropos that the lyric that was playing was: “Somebody’s gonna hurt someone…” It turns out it was me who was going to be hurt, as Drunken Blonde Number One smacked me right in the face while doing a particularly interesting move that involved climbing over the back of the seat back to dance in the row behind us (to “Life in the fast lane.”)
For an encore, which was prompted by real, regular lighters that were used “back in the day,” not be cell phone lights, as the kids of today use, the band sang “Take it easy’ followed by one of their biggest hits, “Desperado.” All in all, it was a great concert, but the two women next to me definitely detracted from the overall enjoyment.